Past Time To Stop Greenhouse Gas Pollution

BY ON April 3, 2012

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I trust the experts.

When doctors told me I had a tumor on my kidney, I didn’t start arguing with them about cell division. They went to medical school, and I did not. I didn’t need to understand how CAT scans worked, or what exactly an MRI did. If I wanted to save my life, I did not have years to study the science, do the research, second-guess the diagnosis.

I feel the same way about global warming. I trust the experts. They’ve spent decades honing their knowledge, and I have not. Nor has anyone who tells us global warming isn’t happening. Climate scientists are in overwhelming agreement. And they are ringing alarm bells.

We are generating so much greenhouse gas pollution that we are tipping the balance of our beautiful atmosphere. Some carbon in the air is necessary, of course. But we are trapping too much heat on Earth—think of it as covering our planet with too many blankets. We can’t kick them off, so we get overheated.

The experts are telling us that we must change the way we produce our electricity–because power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution in this country. If we’re burning coal, we have to burn it clean. If we’re burning gas, we have to burn it clean. And we have to keep investing in renewables, like wind and sun power. We must let Congress know we want greenhouse gas pollution regulated—and it takes only a moment to send your representative a comment.

What do greenhouse gases have to do with our children’s health? Lots, it turns out. None of it good. The warming caused by greenhouse gases intensifies the ozone pollution, the smog, across large parts of the country. Ozone is invisible. That’s why we get Ozone Alerts on days when the skies look clear and blue. That makes it even harder to tell a child she can’t go out and play with her friends.

Smog causes more asthma attacks, more hospitalizations for respiratory disorders–more premature deaths.

Children are most at risk because their airways are smaller and their respiratory defenses are not fully formed. Their higher breathing rates increase their exposure to pollution. The American Lung Association reports that children who regularly breathe high levels of ozone may have reduced lung function as adults.

Moms are blowing the whistle on polarizing politics. Enough already. We share the air.

So for starters, how about some simple common sense? Don’t build more mess into the system. Limit the amount of carbon pollution a new power plant, whether it is burning coal or natural gas, can put into the air.

That’s what EPA is proposing with the recent release of a historic clean air standard for new fossil fuel power plants. The standard is smart—and smart states are already showing us that they can make limits on carbon pollution from power plants work: Oregon, California, Montana, Minnesota, Washington, New Mexico and New York.

Build it clean. Right from the start. Tell EPA that makes sense.

Moms–and dads–have to make our voices heard. No one cares more about our children. Let Congress know that we want strong regulation of greenhouse gas pollution. Especially because we can have highly functioning, cost-effective electricity generation without all the pollution.

I trust the experts. I’m interested in the science behind what’s going on here. But I’ve already heard enough to alarm me. I really care about what kind of world we leave behind for our children. So, while I’m studying—and wondering why winter never happened this year–I want to do everything I can to demand that utilities stop dangerous greenhouse gas pollution.

No politician wants to make a mother angry—and nothing makes a mother angrier than watching political games take precedence over our children’s health. We must let EPA and our representatives know that we want to stop greenhouse gas pollution. Pollution isn’t good for anyone, especially our little people.

Moms know how to clean up messes. So tell Washington, Listen to your mothers!

As with every new rule, the EPA is now open to comments on its rule for limiting carbon pollution from from new coal plants. Tell EPA that this rule is a good, cost-free way to start the process of cleaning up greenhouse gas pollution.

TOPICS: Coal, Politics, Pollution